Technology is rapidly changing the world around us and, as a result, the rules of engagement and how enterprises are adopting digital transformation. Legacy programs and project-centered operating models have teams siloed by functions and having misaligned goals. These programs lack customer focus, agility, and ownership. There are many methods and tools available, such as SCRUM, SAFe, and Kanban, to deliver work in a lean and agile manner. However, organizations are not able to reach the desired business outcomes and create enduring value plagued by the right mindset, operating model, skills, and culture.
The modern digital-infused business requires organizations to radically switch their orientation to customers and value while developing software. It is becoming an imperative to shift current operating models and mindsets to a Product focused delivery to derive real transformation benefits. This product shift allows to deliver value rapidly and consistently, directly targeting customer needs. Innovate happens at market speed to deliver sustainable results at scale.
Adopting a product focused approach requires reimagining and rewiring.
A product focused approach typically requires organizations to rewire from top to bottom and reimagine how work gets done and delivered. The product lifecycle, as encapsulated below, needs to be embraced with cultural enablement and clearly defined processes.
The critical elements of this approach include:
Setting the foundation
This comprises following fundamental elements:
Product vision which provides clear definition of the intended functionality based on market or customer needs.
Product roadmap using design thinking for strategic feature management and building product differentiation.
Defining right OKRs by moving from performance to value. Unlike traditional agile projects which measure project status, on-time delivery, etc, metrics which have customer centricity are tracked like increased market share, better customer engagement, and ability to deliver to a common goal. A team charter is created to establish objectives and product focused delivery. This becomes the basis for development of Epics, Backlogs, and product features. Any influence of current technologies, capabilities, and organizational constraints are not taken into consideration.
Pivotal to product focused approach is user-centered design to progressively understand user needs and place user “experience” at the center of the journey map. Diverse users are identified, and design thinking-based user research conducted to understand user needs. Personas and user journeys are created, and services designed with iterative prototyping. User-testing is done to test assumptions, hypothesis, and incorporation of feedback loops. MVPs are created to confirm which ideas will be taken up for development.
Curating Agile methods and teams
Depending on the business strategy, the approach might focus on client experience, customer journeys, or value streams. The customer journey and value stream aligned product models are more often adopted by large enterprises. Scaled Agile Frameworks (SAFe) also provides a way to visualize and identify value streams while addressing product-centric delivery. Persistent, and self-organizing teams are grouped into Agile release trains and collaborate extensively to deliver the desired business outcomes.
Teams should be autonomous and empowered for decision making. There are clear responsibilities defined for each team member. The teams are not constrained by budgetary boundaries of the business case and fully empowered to define scope, eliminate roadblocks and cultivating skills to help deliver value.
Setting right processes and continuous improvement
DevSecOps principles and processes are adopted for continuous testing, deployment, and service monitoring. User feedback is captured, performance metrics analysed, and data-driven decisions taken to identify improvements. Benchmark comparisons are done for performance analysis and service optimizations. Continuous delivery ensures rapid product changes are delivered to end users.
What is your pathway to successful Digital Transformation?
Coforge, with experience of building 100+ digital products and services, is working with enterprises across industries and at different levels of maturity stage to adopt this product shift leading to increased agility, competitive positioning, and user experience. We would love to hear your approach towards digital transformation keeping customer/end user at the forefront and deriving business value.